Sunday, 18 September 2016

Know thy classics

The FIDE Trainers course in Baku was an interesting experience, especially it in seeing how top level trainers train the trainers. There was a lot of general advice about approaches to training, although I was amused when the advice from one instructor was contradicted by the approach of the next instructor. Examples included a suggestion that trainers shouldn't rely on their own games (as this is a little lazy), only for the next instructor to show us one of his own games. (NB It was still an informative and interesting lesson.). Or that a common mistake is to present examples that the trainer thinks are straightforward, but are really above the level of the student. This was then followed by the next instructor growing increasingly frustrated when we could not calculate our way to an tricky endgame fortress!
However there were a couple of things that all instructors agreed on. Firstly, all students should start with Open Games (1.e4 e5) as their first openings. And secondly, you must know the classics (as student and teacher).
I happily agree with both pieces of advice, and find the games of Joseph Blackburne suitable for use. Of course not all of games are considered classic, but they are usually straightforward and instructive. Here is one such very quick game, which can be useful in demonstrating how a big centre and an oddly placed knight on g6 can quickly turn into a winning attack for White.

Blackburne,Joseph Henry - De Vere,Cecil Valentine [C60]
BCA-02.Challenge Cup London, 1868 [Blackburne, JH]

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